Thursday, May 29, 2008

Swatch for Bad Cat Summer Sampler

I have joined the Summer Sampler Knit a Long from Bad Cat Designs. I have been an avid reader of her blog and love all of her other designs, so when she decided to have a knit-a-long for this one I happily jumped on the band wagon!!

Above is the swatch unblocked and below is the same swatch blocked. What a difference!!
Using Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers from Lacey Lamb
100% extrafine lambswool
Needles: US2
Color: Wisteria, #207
Measures: 4 1/2 inches X 4 inches
This yarn is divine to knit with. It is soooo soft, but feels very sturdy.

These are buckeye bars discovered at Shan's blog. There is no baking involved, but lots of peanut butter and chocolate - two ingredients that definitely belong together in my book. These bars disappeared in record time - Oh, Well....time to make more :o)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Our backyard at the beginning of the weekend.

During the middle as we took up half of our patio pavers

The end product

Looks a little bit bare wouldn't you agree??? However, during the next couple of weeks, this area will be turned into a patio room!! More space!! The patio room will actually be used like an old fashioned rumpus room for the kids. The olders are getting bigger and bigger and so are their friends. They need space to move around in. Our muscles are soooo sore!!

Monday, May 26, 2008


I have no idea why the post below looks so wonky - I have been trying for over an hour to fix it with no success. I am truly sorry for the HUGE breaks between paragraphs!!!

M4M-wee6 & FHE

If last week's M4M post was unconventional, this one is REALLY unconventional!!! However, it made me and our whole family feel closer and look forward to one day each week with great anticipation. Last week, I think on Tuesday, I read a blog post by Amanda about something she does with her family called Family Home Evening. It is such a great family enriching idea (and I was amazed that a lot of her community are doing this on a weekly basis on the same day - kind of together - wow just really amazing!).

I decided right then and there as I sat at the computer that this was for our family. Now our family is already pretty close, we have dinner almost every night together, we have a weekly movie night (friends are welcome, but we really try to have everyone here at the house), and the kids and myself and dh try to go to every game, recital, presentation, etc for each kid - to keep us all enmeshed in eachother's lives. My husband and I decided very early on in this child rearing endeaver that we wanted all of our kids to know eachother really, really well. The way to do that was to spend time, lots of it, together.

Anyway, back to the present. Last Tuesday I decided would be the night we would start Family Home Evening or FHE. It wound up being a VERY long day, the kids were tired, my dh did not have a very good day at work and I was kind of on edge, but I decided to push on. My thoughts were: if not now, when??? So we pushed ahead.

After dinner I had all the kids clear the table and come back and sit down. I explained what we were going to do and where the idea had come from. Everyone was excited. We started out with a fun song that all of them knew (B-I-N-G-O), moved on to the game Jenga, had dessert, and ended with another song "Rags". The night was a huge success. We kept it to 30 minutes being mindful that our oldest had homework and studying and the little ones needed to get to bed to get their rest. Everyone wanted more!!! We put everyone's name in a bowl (excluding mine because I had just organized this one) and pulled out the next person to organize an FHE. DD#2 (10yrs) will be organizing the next one. She is so excited she has been coming up with tons of ideas. We already went shopping for the dessert which she will make (with my assistance) and she came up with the songs - she is struggling with the activity. The activity has to be good for all family members and the whole evening should only be about 30 minutes or so.

Because it is the end of the school year, next week is packed with activities, concerts, performances and the like - FHE will be on Friday. All of us are soooo looking forward to that day, even the 6yo who keeps looking at the calendar that hangs on the wall and counts down several times a day - "Oh, it's still 4 more days mom." was the quote today.

I also can't wait!!! The evening was so much fun. We laughed and joked and just generally were silly with eachother. This was something our family needed, especially at this busy time of the school year when life just becomes a wee bit stressful.

This post is supposed to be about me and something I have done for myself, but my mind is so much clearer now. 10 weeks ago I started the flylady program to help with the chaos in my home. I have set routines that I follow each and every day-keeping our home clean and organized no longer feels overwhelming. 6 weeks ago I started jogging 2 days a week, then I joined M4M, and 2 weeks ago (I am starting my 3rd week) I started 5 Factor Fitness - these things have helped with the chaos in my mind and body. By doing these things on a daily basis, I have built in my M4M everyday. Not just a moment once a week, but everyday and it feels fantastic. It has let my mind focus on other things and when I read Amanda's post I wanted to give our family a "Moment for Us".

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pro Bono Hat

Pro Bono Hat
Started and Finished in May 2008

This is my most favorite colorway so far. I just love the blues and green mixed with the white, it was fun to watch the color changes as I was knitting!! As you can see ds#1 claimed this as his own.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

O.K. this is a very unconventional "Tackle it Tuesday" post. We tackled the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco this past weekend. 7.5 miles (12K) with a hill thrown in right before the 3 mile mark. It was such a blast - my husband's family flies in from New York just for the weekend to run this race EVERY YEAR.
All of us before the race.

My oldest two sweeties ages 12 and 10 having a blast throwing tortillas at the start of the race.

Me and the 10 yr old by the buffalos. The girls did great. The oldest ran with my husband and his father and ran the whole 7.5 miles. The 10 yr old ran with me and she ran 6.5 miles. Not bad for her first time running the Bay to Breakers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This has been the best week for me so far on this "Moments for Me" challenge. I kind of took it a bit farther than I think was intended and built in some moments each and every day. The 5-factor fitness program is continuing and it feels GREAT!!! Also added in daily is 10 minutes at the very start for a cup of coffee - a great way for me to wake up. The moments of silence give me a chance to "hear myself think". Very calming!!! The start of each and every day this past week has been sooooo very positive - I am much more relaxed and therefore am much, much more patient with the kids - always a good thing :o) I can't wait for what the rest of the day brings.

***OH, YEAH - tonight is knit night!!! YAHOO!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Just a little bit...

Coffee maker cloth from Shirley's Knitting Knook
Two more hexagons for the Whirly Gig blanket.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Knitting & Moments for Me & Tackle It Tuesday

Whew!! This has been a VERY busy week. The weeks to come are equally busy as well. AAAHH....the count down to summer vacation for the kidlets has truly begun - open houses, recitals, special class presentations, talent shows, and the list goes on and on and on........

Knitting this week. The baby sweater is just about finished. It needs to be sewn together, the sleeves, button bands and collar added. AND - all the ends need to be woven in - BLECH - there are boatloads of them. I love this pattern. It is extemely simple and fast to knit - the next one will be all in one color!! I love the fleece yarn, it is so, so, so soft. My husband's other cousin is expecting a boy so I will get the chance to knit another one in a boy color - just one color - NO striping - no millions of ends to weave in - and I bet it will be just as cute!!!

I have been feeling slothlike for quite a while and knew I needed to do something to lift my spirits as well as my sagging form. A friend of mine has been doing this program for 3 weeks and feels great. For 25 minutes each day, there is a different workout that includes warm up, strength training and cardio - I can do 25 minutes a day. This is my "Moments for Me", but they are now every morning at 5:15. It is so nice to focus on ME for a change :o)
This program does for you and your body, what flylady does for your home. A little bit each day consistently leads to great success.

Bookcases here are just breeding grounds for dropped items in our home. Things that should be put away, are left there until "later".


Bookcases will most likely become a theme for the next few Tuesdays as we have LOTS and LOTS of them and they all need to be organized!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sleeves, Sleeves, Sleeves

FINALLY!! One sleeve complete on dh's sweater. The only things left for this to be an FO are:
The other sleeve
Weaving the ends in

These are the sleeves from the baby sweater I started a few weeks ago.
There are a few more things, but life is getting pretty busy around here again. Next weekend we have family in from New York to run the Bay to Breakers. We all run this every year - it's so much fun. DD#1 (12 yrs) has been running this for the last two years and DD#2 (10yrs) wants to try to run it this year. DD#2 will probably make it about 2 1/2 to 3 miles before pooping out, but it will fun to have her run with me. DD#1 is too fast for me (I am getting old!!!) and she runs with Daddy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's the Monday Mom Moment Time!!

As you can see, a true moment for me is a moment where I can do something crafty. Lately that means sewing, sometimes it means beading, and most often it means knitting. Below is the tank top for dd#3. Hopefully after a few more moments for me it will be complete. Such a nice, relaxing way to spend 45 minutes or so :o)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Knitting updates

A fair amount of knitting has been happening, but for most of it there is only progress and not even of the kind that looks any different than it has looked for the last several weeks or so. Case in point is dh's sweater - diligently knitting on it almost every night - sleeve, while longer, still looks EXACTLY the same!!! I have just started on the cuff portion so it should be completed soon. Then.....onto.....the.....other.....sleeve......................................

So, have a look see at stuff that does look different. A completed bookmark from the Monthly Bookmark Group. I haven't done one in a long time and had forgotten how much fun and how quickly they knit up.

Started: 4/25/08
Finished: 4/27/08
Needles: US4
Yarn: Some random blue baby yarn that was lying around
Measures: 2 1/2 inches X 8 1/4 inches
Gifted: ME :o)

The spiral baby blanket. It now has 570 stitches on the needle. It is still fun to knit and I am almost at the point of adding another patterned section.

A close up. Those little blobs were supposed to be diamonds. I'm not sure why they don't look the part. DH says they look like birds - so they are birds! This blanket is now on two 29" size US7 circular needles and I am knitting with a third. It should be able to remain this way for awhile.

Last, but not least - a new fleece blanket for a new baby that was born to a family of a classmate in my youngest's pre-school class.
2 yards of the fleece material folded in half. Changed the tension on the sewing machine so that the edges would ruffle a little and there you have it. A 45 minute blanket :o)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stash Enhancement

Lovely sale at my LYS. These are $3 a ball. All are Filatura Di Crosa Baby Zarella
They only have numbers for colors. I thought they were very pretty and would do well as the clothes on the mother bears that I have been making.

$3 per ball. Zarella, Color 411 Lot 0300. To be made into a baby blanket for dh's other cousin who is expecting a baby. They don't know the sex so this is unisex enough and bright enough. I hope they like it.
These I thought were truly gorgeous!! Also $3 per hank. They are Plymouth Yarn Eros Extreme 100% Nylon. I forsee some lovely scarves for my MIL and my daughters.

This was just plain interesting - not sure what it will be, but at $3 each I couldn't pass it up. It is Cascade Yarns Ischia Silk: 64% Silk, 43% Cotton, 4% Polyamid

This little lovely was not on sale, but was way too beautiful to leave behind. It will become a beaded capelet. One of the ladies at knit night was knitting the same capelet in the same yarn (hers is green-and gorgeous!!) and it was just so stunning, I felt I "needed" to make one too!
The yarn is Interlacements New York 100% Rayon Ribbon. It feels so soft and slippery - I love it!!

All in all a great haul :o)